Home Con News TBF 16: Thought Bubble announces first wave of Special Guests – Mike...

icon - a thoughtbubble 2016 thumbnailThought Bubble Sequential Art Festival – the esteemed comics celebration and convention that takes place every year in Leeds, West Yorkshire – may be some ways a way (held over the course of the week of the 1st-6th November) but they are already staking their claim to be one of the premiere convention draws in the UK by announcing some truly world-class talent in their first wave of Special Guests.

More than likely, the big headline is going to be the first visit to Thought Bubble by legendary HELLBOY creator Mike Mignola who will be on hand to spread the gospel about the current series, HELLBOY IN HELL (and has probably been sold on the event by collaborators and previous special guests Duncan Fegredo and Jason Latour). However, the good news doesn’t stop there.

Other first timers, breaking their Thought Bubble cherry will be French comics creator Claire Wendling, UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL writer Ryan North, incredible South Korean artist Kim Jung GiRAT QUEENS artist Tess Fowler, and ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL artist Stephanie Hans, in attendance alongside SUICIDERS artist Lee Bermejo and returning 2014 Special Guest, Babs Tarr.

See below for a full list of the Guests announced today, along with bios, and keep an eye on An Englishman In San Diego as we bring you all the updates from Camp Thought Bubble as they arrive (as well as following our ever-fruitless efforts to get Press Passes for this damn thing…!)

As well as announcing the talent to be on show in Leeds this chilly November, Thought Bubble has also revealed the artwork for this years festival, teased above in our thumbnail for TBF16 – drawn by the splendid Emmeline Pidgen, the image continues Thought Bubble’s icon tradition of delicate artwork, reflecting the joy of reading. (Hmm, bound books, in this case. Here’s hoping those are ‘graphic novels’, at least…)

image - Thought Bubble (TBF 2016 logo, Emmeline Pidgen)

UPDATE (2nd March 2016): Emmeline read this post and got in touch – it’s great to see the books that she pictures in the artwork…


Thought Bubble Special Guests – First Wave

profile - mahmud asrar (youtube.com)MAHMUD ASRAR


Mahmud Asrar grew up with the passion to draw comic books which led to a university education in Graphic Design and Animation.

After graduation he pursued a career in comics and has since worked for most major publishers along the lines of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image and others.


He is currently working for Marvel Comics exclusively and is one of the ongoing artists for ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS.

Asrar currently resides in Vienna, Austria.

Image credit: youtube.com


profile - lee bermejo (pastemagazine.com)LEE BERMEJO


Lee Bermejo started working professionally at age 19 for Wildstorm Studios with Jim Lee.

Besides doing cover art for DC and Marvel Comics on book like DAREDEVIL, HELLBLAZER, STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND, and SECRET ORIGINS, he has also done a series of graphic novels with Brian Azzarello for DC, most notably THE JOKER, LEX LUTHOR, and BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH.

Recently, he has wrote and drawn the graphic novels BATMAN: NOEL, and SUICIDERS for Vertigo. He is currently writing and doing cover art for WE ARE ROBIN, and SUICIDERS: KINGS OF HELL.

He lives and works in Italy with his wife Sara and draws portraits of dead rock stars in his spare time.

Image credit: pastemagazine.com


profile - tess fowler (philip lindsten, legionofleia.com)TESS FOWLER

(Artist: RAT QUEENS)

Tess Fowler is a comic book artist hailing from LA, California where she lives with her husband Chris and fiendish hellcat Sam.

She is currently illustrating RAT QUEENS for Image Comics, teamed up with writer Kurtis Wiebe. Her other credits include cover work/interiors for Image Comics, IDW and Black Mask. You can also find her work in spots such as album/video art for Lisa Loeb, art extras on the GAME OF THRONES Season 3 blu ray, and many others.

This being her first time in the UK, Tess would like very much like to try real fish and chips. As well as these fancy things called “crisps” she’s heard so much about.

Image credit: Philip Lindsten, for legionofleia.com


profile - lisa hanawalt (comicstavern.com)LISA HANAWALT


Lisa Hanwalt is the production designer/producer of BOJACK HORSEMAN, an original animated series for Netflix. She has written & illustrated two books published by Drawn & Quarterly: MY DIRTY DUMB EYES, 2013 and HOT DOG TASTE TEST, 2016.

She grew up in Palo Alto, California, and graduated from UCLA in 2006. She writes and illustrates a regular column for Lucky Peach magazine. She co-hosts a podcast called BABY GENIUSES with comedian Emily Heller, on the Maximum Fun network. She lives in Los Angeles.

Lisa has worked on illustrations, book covers, animations, comics, murals, patterns, apparel, and exhibits her artwork in galleries.

Image credit: comicstavern.com


profile - stephanie hans (central-comics.com)STEPHANIE HANS


French illustrator Stephanie Hans has been two things in her life before she was anything else: a reader and a drawer. She stills read a lot and that what makes her really happy to do cover work – she gets to be one of the first reader of the book!

She first studied photography and later she entered the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg (a rather famous school in France for its illustration course). After she graduated, she went hunting for her first publisher, finding him at a children’s book convention. That was Emmanuel Proust and together they published a couple of graphic novels together 2004 / 2005 (Galathéa). When her first comic book work was on the shelves, her work caught the eye of an art director from HACHETTE, and she hired her to created a few covers for their young adults books.

That’s when she discovered she really loved cover art, because it was very demanding and forced her to become a better illustrator. She then started to create covers for most of the mainstream french young adult publishers and a few years later she had the chance to show her work to the international talent scout for Marvel Comics. She has been collaborating with them for 3 years now, on a more or less regular basis. She started also to work with Boom! Studios and Dynamite, as well as IDW.

To find out more information on her work, including her work on ANGELA QUEEN OF HEL and THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE, please click here.

Image credit: central-comics.com


profile - faith erin hicks (youtube.com)FAITH ERIN HICKS


Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian writer and artist. She worked in the animation industry for several years before transitioning into writing and drawing comics full time in 2008. She started making comics “for fun” and putting them on the web when she was in college.

Her first published work was ZOMBIES CALLING in 2007. Since then, she has published a number of other graphic novels, including THE WAR AT ELLSMERE, BRAIN CAMP (with Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan), FRIENDS WITH BOYS, NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL, THE LAST OF US: AMERICAN DREAMS (with Neil Druckmann), and THE BIGFOOT BOY series (with J. Torres). She won an Eisner Award in 2014 for THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERHERO GIRL.

Faith currently lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner, Tim, and their helpful cat.

Her current project is THE NAMELESS CITY, a three book series with First Second Books. The first Nameless City book will be out in April 2016.

Image credit: youtube.com


profile - kim jung gi (youtube.com)KIM JUNG GI


Kim Jung Gi is a Korean artist born in 1975 in Goyang-Si in the province of Kyongki-Do (South Korea). At 19, he entered the Fine Arts School and majored in “Art & Design”. During 3 years, he studied on the west coast at the Dong-Eui university of Busan which is famous for its technical courses. 23 000 fellow students may also have given him some nice material to start with as a source of inspiration! As every man in Korea, he also served in the army during more than 2 years, in the special forces section, which allowed him to memorize an amazing number of vehicles and weapons.

FUNNY FUNNY, KJG’s first publication, was published in the manwha, YOUNG JUMP. Then came several short stories and a few exhibitions before KJG started to teach manwha at universities and private schools.

Between 2008 and 2010, he drew the 6 volumes of TLT, TIGER LONG TAIL adapting a scenario from Seung-Jin Park. This story first appeared as a ‘webtoon’ (online publication, which explains the unusual composition of the pages), then was later published in printed form by CNC Revolution editions.

In 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015 he published four Sketchbooks which gathered nearly 3000 pages of his art. He also published SPYGAMES with the famous french writer Jean-David Morvan in 2014 (Glénat Editions).

Finaly, a museum opened in Penang, Malyasia, to present his work in June 2015. At this occasion, he also entered the Guiness Book of Records for the “Longest drawing by an individual for the Fisheye Art” Illustration category.

Today, when he is not working for some Korean company in advertising or managing AniChanga, his drawing school in Seoul, he’s travelling the world to meet his fans and get inspiration!

Image credit: youtube.com

profile - mike mignola (projectradio.com)MIKE MIGNOLA

(Creator: HELLBOY)

Mike Mignola is best known as the award-winning creator/writer/artist of HELLBOY… now celebrating its 22nd Anniversary!

He was also visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on both HELLBOY and HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY films. He also co-authored (with Christopher Golden) two novels: BALTIMORE, OR THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER AND THE VAMPIRE and JOE GOLEM & THE DROWNING CITY.

Mignola lives in southern California with his wife and cat.

Image credit: projectradio.com


profile - ryan north (nineteenquestion.com)RYAN NORTH


Ryan North is a cartoonist who can’t draw and who created DINOSAUR COMICS (you can read those for free at qwantz.com!), wrote the Eisner and Harvey award-winning ADVENTURE TIME comic series (those ones cost money!), co-edited the #1 bestselling anthology series MACHINE OF DEATH (you can read that for free at machineofdeath.net!) and writes THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL for Marvel Comics (and again, that’ll cost you).

He also turned “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” into choose-your-own-path adventures that he called TO BE OR NOT TO BE and ROMEO AND/OR JULIET, which should tell you all you need to know about Ryan North.

He lives in Toronto with his wife Jenn and their dog, Noam Chompsky.

Image credit: nineteenquestions.com


profile - babs tarr (anenglishmaninsandiego.com)BABS TARR

(Artist: BATGIRL)

Babs Tarr grew up in the sunny and beautiful Charleston, SC. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD where she received her BFA in Illustration.

Her work can currently be seen in the hit comic BATGIRL, as well as on the tv show LIMITLESS.

She currently is settled west in San Francisco, CA where she is living the dream working as a full time freelance illustrator.

Image credit: anenglishmaninsandiego.com


profile - claire wendling (muddycolors.blogspot.com)CLAIRE WENDLING


In 1989, while still in the School of Fine Arts of Angoulême, Claire Wendling won the “Artist of the Future” prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival and participated in two anthologies published by Delcourt, THE CHILDREN OF THE NILE and ENTRECHATS. In 1990, she illustrated the acclaimed series, LES LUMIEIRES DE L’AMALOU (THE LIGHTS OF AMALOU), written by Christophe Gibelin, which won the Press award at Angoulême.

In 1997, she was hired by Warner Bros Studios and moved to Los Angeles to participate in various projects including THE QUEST FOR CAMELOT. Returning to France, Wendling published DESK, a book of sketches made in Los Angeles. In 2000, she did graphic design work for the video game ALONE IN THE DARK IV.

Wendling is an infrequent author: some short stories, a series of sketch books and illustrative works, her complete works are held in a single volume. She is one of three shortlisted candidates for the Grand Prix de la ville d’Angoulême, one of the world’s most prestigious comics awards, along with Alan Moore and Hermann Huppen.

To find out more information on her work, including the books IGUANA BAY and LES LUMIEIRES DE L’AMALOU, please click here.

Image credit: muddycolors.blogspot.com



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